Cine-feminisms and the Academy Symposium

Sydney, Australia (12.-13.12.2019), 13. September 2019.

UNSW Sydney, 12-13th December 2019

The contemporary media landscape is shaped by increasing precarity and awareness of gendered issues. The global screen industry is grappling with the cultural and industrial shifts precipitated by the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. For some, the Harvey Weinstein revelations and subsequent scandal resulted in a re-evaluation of the gendered operation of Hollywood. The industry has responded on the red carpet, through the media and in film festival juries. What role do – and can – forms of film feminisms (or cine-feminism) play within this context?

This symposium will explore questions around the state, place and forms of contemporary cine-feminisms. There is little question that women’s filmmaking is gaining new currency and profile in film festivals, in film funding and in academic publishing. Calls for greater gender equity in the film industry are resulting in shifts in the ways (some) film funding bodies allocate resources and in how (some) film festivals select and program work. Decades of lobbying by women working both within and on the margins of the film industry have been the driving force in creating these shifts, often in engagement with the long history of feminist film scholarship on the work of women behind the camera, in front of the camera, and in front of the screen. The recent commitments to greater gender equity in the film industry can also, of course, be understood as one way that the industry has responded to negative publicity (in particular, the high-profile cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender-based discrimination that have captured public attention) and economic opportunity (targeting female viewers).

While this (re)newed interest in women’s filmmaking has been enabled by cine-feminisms to what extent and in what ways does – or can – it create opportunities for feminist teaching and research in the academy? What place does cine-feminism have in the academy today? When, where and how does it shape and inform how both film history and film theory are understood and taught and how questions of authorship, genre, performance, intermediality, and industry are explored? In the shifting university sector, are there particular issues that cine-feminist work bumps up against in terms of syllabus design, recognition of engagement and outreach, research funding and publications?

We invite proposals on any area related to cine-feminisms/film feminisms, including but not limited to:

- Contemporary and historical cine- and media feminisms
- Feminist screen theories and pedagogy
- “Doing” feminist screen studies
- Feminist cine-activisms – on screen, online, in press, on the streets
- Diverse feminist screen cultures in the digital age

Keynote will be delivered by Dr Anna Backman Rogers (University of Gothenberg, Sweden)

Dr Anna Backman Rogers is a Senior Lecturer in Feminism and Visual Culture at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She is the author of American Independent Cinema: Rites of Passage and The Crisis Image (Edinburgh UP, 2015) and Sofia Coppola: The Politics of Visual Pleasure (Berghahn 2018). She is also the co-editor with Laura Mulvey of Feminisms (Amsterdam UP, 2015) and the co-editor with Boel Ulfsdotter of Female Authorship and the Documentary Image: Theory, Practice and Aesthetics and Female Agency and Documentary Strategies: Subjectivities, Identity, and Activism (both with Edinburgh UP, 2017). Her current research is on the films of Lynne Ramsay and Barbara Loden’s WANDA.

CFP closes 13th of September 2019. Please send your proposals including a title, an abstract (250 words), and a short biography (80 words) to Dr Jessica Ford jessica.ford@newcastle.edu.au  and Dr Jodi Brooks j.brooks@unsw.edu.au by 13th of September 2019.